Opinions on Web 2.0 and Presidential Views on Hip/Hop

3 02 2009

     I stumbled across this video of Barak Obama commenting on the influence hip/hop has on social change through a Twitter post. Partly because I’m a huge Obama fan and partly because I think hip/hop is annoyingly influential, I wanted to talk about what Obama had to say and how I think it relates to social media and public relations.

In the clip Obama talks candidly about his preferences in music. “. . . lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Jay-Z, This New American Gangster album. . .” With that said Obama follows up by saying that he is also an old school man. And, he lists Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and Earth Wind and Fire as examples of what one would find on his iPod. What struck me was how he could be true to his old school roots and be completely aware of the power of the new and its uses.

Professors have told me time and time again that many employers are scared, wary, or ignorant of Web 2.0 and social media. I’m attempting to make an analogy between Obama’s ideas of using hip/hop to influence the younger generations and the use of Web 2.0 apps in the world of public relations alongside the old tactics. It may be a stretch but, I think it works.

Obama is asked whether he has thought about bringing the hip/hop influence into the White House. His response: “Absolutely. I’ve met with Jay-Z and I’ve met with Kanye . . .” I hope that once I get into the job market I can hear something similar; maybe, “Have you thought about having a Twitter presence?” “Why yes, what else can we do?”

Of course social media is just like any other tactic, it’s only good if it helps achieve the goal. But, from what I’ve been hearing through my blog perusing is that there is a whole new audience people are just beginning to reach and it’s HUGE. I am beginning to understand that and, it seems old tactics just aren’t as effective.

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